Tenant Space Among Chicago's Coolest

Crain's Makes it Official: It's Cool to Office at 20 South Clark  

Chicago's Coolest Offices 2012: Girl Scouts
By: Deborah L. Cohen October 22, 2012
Crain's Chicago Business

With its clean lines, abundant glass, movable walls and modern decor, the Girl Scouts' HQ could easily pose for a sleek layout in Dwell magazine. But the space is loaded with symbolism dating back a century, including the organization's familiar green color scheme and the renowned trefoils.

"I wanted no semblance or any illusion that there is anything going on behind closed doors," says CEO Maria Wynne, whose modest office, complete with the kind of writeable walls used throughout the space, is testament to the egalitarian aesthetic. "There are lots of different places where people can come and work together."

Expansive east views of Chase Plaza and city life outside are juxtaposed with a relaxed interior feel achieved by elements such as reclaimed wood in the entryway, barn-style doors that open up to a program area and intimate alcoves with toadstools to mimic a campfire circle.
Girl Scout history is celebrated with a dedicated museum area and wallpaper that chronicles the evolution of Girl Scout uniforms, including designs from Bill Blass and Halston. There's also a store and a café-style kitchen where staff and volunteers can munch on the latest varieties of the organization's famous cookies.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
Address: 20 S. Clark St., Suite 200, Chicago Design: Gensler Moved in: July 2011
Square footage: 12,717 Coolest element: Barn doors Employee favorite: Café
Occupants: 160 full-time employees, plus volunteers

Girl Scout symbols are everywhere at the council office, from the trefoils dotting the ceiling to the Girl Scout Law on a door to the café. Photos by Stephen J. Serio